So I'm trying to be more organized. I try to do that often. It never really sticks, but I just found something that makes a huge difference in my day. Planning our meals out ahead of time really works. I thought that meal planning was just for people with big families, but I was wrong. Meal planning is for Everyone!
I plan on keeping our meals generally the same from week to week, just changing the occasional dinner. Lunch is often dinner from the night before. This eliminates all the thinking involved with cooking/preparing and eating meals, which is most of the work. Before, I would think about the meal generally around the time I got hungry. Now I can check the menu around 10am for lunch and see if there is something that I need to prepare before I get to work (in the basement) or whether I can make it at 11:30am.
Here is our menu (first draft-winter version):
Breakfast: make granola (if I'm on the ball, making it the night before is a good idea)
Lunch: Soup and bread
Dinner: Beans and tomatoes and hot peppers with tortilla chips
Breakfast: hot chunky applesauce (make it the night before while I'm working so I can just heat it up in the morning and make enough for oatmeal Tuesday)
Lunch: roasted potatoes and carrots with rosemary and garlic
Dinner: broccoli and pasta with homemade bread
Breakfast: oatmeal (we like it with applesauce and cinnamon and raisins)
Lunch: carrot soup and bread
Dinner: taco night
Breakfast: granola (leftover from Sunday)
Lunch: leftover carrot soup and bread
Dinner: Spinach curry with fresh made pita bread
Breakfast: French Toast with maple syrup and raisins on top with fresh squeezed OJ
Lunch: Fruit Smoothie
Dinner: Mashed Potatoes and a green vegetable
Breakfast: fresh OJ and toast or bananas
Lunch: white beans and roasted garlic soup
Dinner: Pizza (homemade of course)
Lunch: canned chili cooked in the fire outside with biscuits (made at breakfast time) -when I get a cast iron dutch oven, I'll make chili from scratch to cook over the fire.
Dinner: salad and leftovers
This is what I've got so far. Breakfasts will probably be supplemented with Orange Juice or Fruit Smoothies. Fruit or toast are for snacks. This is actually my first week doing this, but I am totally sold on it. I'm trying to keep our food spending down to $25 a week (or less). We'll see how that goes. I think the planning should help in that respect as well. I tried to plan cheap meals. Once it starts warming up, we'll be eating much more raw foods. I figure our meals will rotate with the seasons (like when it's strawberry season, we'll have strawberries for breakfast lunch and dinner :).
Do you plan your meals? My sister-in-law has all her recipes on her computer and uses that to plan her shopping. Do you have any tips for a novice?